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Thursday, October 11, 2012
What's in that Gatorade bottle anyway?

By Paul Lukas

Feeling thirsty? Maybe a drink of water will do the trick. No, check that -- maybe some Gatorade. Yeah, Gatorade. That's the ticket.

If that little sequence has been playing out in your mind lately, it may be because Gatorade has had a higher brand presence during the MLB playoffs. Posters can be seen in all of the dugouts, reminding everyone that only Gatorade is approved for postseason thirst-quenching. This has forced some teams to alter their usual routine: The Giants, for example, normally have Powerade in the dugout, but they swapped that out for Gatorade during the first two games of their division series against the Reds.

But Gatorade's enhanced postseason profile isn't limited to the dugout. When Nationals skipper Davey Johnson sat down for his pregame press conference prior to Wednesday's game against the Cardinals, he brought a bottle of water with him but was told by an MLB functionary to pour the water into a Gatorade cup. According to this tweet from Washington Post beat reporter Adam Kilgore, Johnson found the whole thing annoying:

Davey miffed as an official made him pour water in a Gatorade cup prior to presser. After he finished, he said, "Mmm this Gatorade is good."

— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) October 10, 2012

The same routine played out when Raul Ibanez of the Yankees brought a bottle of water to the press conference after Wednesday night's Yanks-Orioles game, as spelled out in this tweet from New York Times reporter David Waldstsein:

Ibanez, on his way into the interview room, had a bottle of water. Some flack asked him to pour it into a Gatorade cup. See it to his left?

— David Waldstein (@DavidWaldstein) October 11, 2012

OK, so we all know how it works for big sporting events: Certain brands are approved and all other brands are verboten. But it's one thing to say that you have to have Gatorade instead of Powerade in the dugout; it's another to make someone look like he's drinking Gatorade when he's actually drinking water. That's not branding. That's fudging the truth.

Kinda makes you wonder what's actually in all those Gatorade jugs in the dugouts, doesn't it? Think about that the next time you see someone on TV drinking -- or appearing to drink -- Gatorade.